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Fort Lee

Learn about high blood pressure, ways to lower it SEE PAGe 9

SERVING THE COMMUNITY OF FORT LEE, VIRGINIA, SINCE 1941

February 14, 2019 | Vol. 79, No. 7

Training for Excellence

Installation teams learn techniques, hone skills for upcoming culinary event

SEE PAGES 4, 8 LIFE-SAVING REGISTRATION Fort Lee chapter of fraternity works with DOD Bone Marrow organization to coordinate drive Feb 23, 9 a.m. - noon, at Lee Theater

PARTNERS Fort Lee, Prince George team up to improve emergency, 911 response time

APPRECIATION Fort Lee security guard recognized for life-saving assistance at Jackson Circle

ARMY FAMILY Officials reveal policy changes to improve military life, community

SEE PAGe 7

SEE PAGe 3

SEE PAGe 5

SEE PAGe 11


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Military spouse poses question: ‘Is cup half full or half empty?’ Lisa Smith Molinari Contributing Writer

My mother, a retired first-grade teacher, is a pro at putting a positive spin on things no matter how sad, unjust, terrifying or disgusting. On a mud-splattered, dreary Monday morning, she would hear and make note of the birds singing. Along a litter-strewn highway dotted with decrepit strip malls, she would spy a “pretty patch of Queen Anne’s lace” growing in a ditch. If I served her a revolting casserole made from two weeks of mediocre leftovers, she would delight at the colorful pimentos. My mother could encounter a big pile of excrement, and chances are, she would point out the scientific benefits (which she has actually done on more than one occasion). I find it difficult to channel my mother’s relentless optimism. I suppose I could blame my less-than-rosy disposition on elements of my family’s 24 years with the military – particularly too-frequent permanent change of station moves, separations and my husband’s pay that always seemed subpar to his civilian counterparts. There were many times when I couldn’t help feeling harshly negative, even though I realized such factors were just part of the sacrifice of military service. Just because I couldn’t see a bright side doesn’t mean there wasn’t one. Take PCS moves, for example. After I packed up my entire

Fort Lee

Commanding General ................... Maj. Gen. Rodney D. Fogg Garrison Commander ....................... Col. Hollie J. Martin Public Affairs Officer ............................. Stephen J. Baker Command Information/Managing Editor ...Patrick Buffett Senior Writer/Special Assignments .......... T. Anthony Bell Production/News Assistant Editor .................. Amy Perry Production Assistant............................... Ray Kozakewicz To reach the Traveller Staff, call (804) 734-7147.

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household, left my job and everything I had come to know, and said goodbye to close friends and our favorite pizza joint, the last thing on my mind was rainbows and unicorns. Later, however, I began to recognize the hidden benefits of relocation – a new start, a clean slate, an often refreshing reset of family routines. Our first move overseas gave my husband and I an opportunity to travel together, rather than spending all our vacations with extended family. Our orders to move from England were a ticket out of my arduous obligations as “parliamentarian” of the spouses’ group. When we moved away from Virginia, we were relieved to get our son out of the school where he had been bullied. Our move from Germany enabled me to break up with the stylist who had turned my hair to an unnatural shade of yellow-

The Fort Lee Traveller is an authorized publication for members of the DOD, printed by Gatehouse Media Virginia Holdings, Inc., a private firm in no way connected with the U.S. Government, under exclusive written contract with U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Lee, Virginia. Contents of the Fort Lee Traveller are not necessarily the official views of, or endorsed by, the U.S. Government or the Department of the Army. The editorial content of this publication is the responsibility of the U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Lee Public Affairs Office. The appearance of advertising in this publication, including inserts or supplements, does not constitute endorsement of the products or services advertised by the U.S. Army or Gatehouse Media Virginia Holdings, Inc. Everything advertised in this publication will be made available for purchase, use, or patronage without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation, or any other non-merit factor of the purchaser, user, or patron. If a violation or rejection of this equal opportunity policy by an advertiser is confirmed, the publisher will refuse to print advertising from that source until the violation has been corrected.

orange. During our move to Florida, the movers finally broke the microwave cart I always hated. With each move, we were given a unique opportunity to reinvent ourselves, our routines and our living situations. Seeing it that way makes me realize that moving was actually a good thing. Military pay grades are another sow’s ear. Let’s face it, a service member’s wages are not the stuff of which dreams are made. My minivan with 215,000 miles on it and interior carpeting that smells like pickled eggs is symbolic of what a lack of wealth means to military families. What’s the upside? Well, pay equality for one thing. There was never a reason to wonder how we stacked up to our military peers. Minivans, pot lucks and bill-splitting were the accepted ways of life never frowned upon. There was no competition or pretentiousness. From that perspective, moderate military pay was actually a good thing. Believe it or not, even military separations offer something positive. Aside from the obvious “absence makes the heart grow fonder” phenomenon, there’s also crumbs, clickers and communication to appreciate. Men are crumb-producing machines, and during the times my husband was deployed or on travel, I relished my crumb-free existence. I also savored full reign over the television clicker. Above all that, my husband and I communicated best when he was away. We emailed and called often, and never forgot to say, “I love you.” And in that way, military separations were a very good thing. Artists see a lump of plaster as a masterpiece because “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Real estate agents will tell you the old shack is “a charming Cape Cod.” And my mother will tell you the dog doo you just stepped in is an essential element of the circle of life. Families enduring the challenges of military life can put a positive spin on their world. No matter how dark it seems, as long as the sun shines, there will always be a bright side.

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Staff Sgt. Scott J. Evans Sgt. Jesus Leon, a food service specialist at Fort Carson, Colo., prepares dessert while training for the Joint Culinary Training Event at the Culinary Academy. See Pages 4 and 8.


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Nate Allen

Col. Hollie Martin, Fort Lee garrison commander, shakes hands with Percy Ashcraft, the Prince George County administrator, after signing an Intergovernmental Support Agreement to share Prince George’s 911 Computer-Aided Dispatch system Friday at the county’s emergency operations center. Leaders and emergency management officials from Fort Lee and Prince George County were also at the ceremony.

Fort Lee, Prince George partner to improve 911 response times Nate Allen

Garrison Public Affairs

A new partnership between Fort Lee and neighboring Prince George County may help save lives by speeding up response times of both installation and county police, fire and rescue units. The post and county will upgrade and share Prince George’s 911 Computer-Aided Dispatch system, per an agreement signed during a small ceremony at the county’s

emergency operations center Friday. Use of the CAD represents an upgrade to Fort Lee’s current emergency dispatch system that provides more timely and accurate communication of information – from the time of an initial call until the final report – including the nature and location of the emergency and other critical details. Prince George County Chief of Police Keith Early said the improvements will be a force multiplier. “Efficiency on our end

means efficiency in the delivery of our services, and time can mean lives,” he said. The partnership follows the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act guidelines for Intergovernmental Support Agreements, or an IGSA; a mutually beneficial public-topublic partnership that improves government services while avoiding additional costs. Capitalizing on the existing relationship and shared lines of jurisdiction with Prince George County, leaders at Fort Lee saw an

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IGSA as an opportunity to do both. “We already have mutual aid agreements and we’re already part of the Prince George family, so we knew that was a good place to start,” said Patrick “Mac” MacKenzie, Fort Lee deputy to the garrison commander. Planning for the worst, leaders from both sides collaborated to ensure long-term viability of the Army’s investment in the partnership. “Crime, natural disasters, crises and many other public safety concerns have no regard for jurisdictional boundaries,” Early said. Keying on this known truth within the emergency response community, Fort Lee purchased an additional server, providing CAD redundancy, a greater level of interoperability between the partners and continuity of operations. “If something were to happen to one our centers, our personnel could work out of the other seamlessly, and the customer would never notice the difference,” Early said. The post also purchased tools to enhance the 911 data automation capabilities of the CAD. Triangulation of calls from cell phones and the ability to track response units enable the CAD to automatically dispatch the closest units to the scene of an emergency. These add-ons to the existing CAD also help the post and county comply with FCC-mandated Enhanced 911 standards that go into effect in 2022, at a far lower cost than either could have achieved alone. “We invested $485,000 to start, which gives us a five-year cost-avoidance of over $5.8 million,” MacKenzie said. “It is our responsibility to invest the money the Army gives us wisely,” said Lt. Gen. Bradley Becker, commanding general of the Army’s Installation Management Command, in a recent video message to IMCOM personnel. “One of the most costeffective ways for IMCOM to acquire goods and services is through Intergovernmental Support Agreements.” While the 911 CAD partnership with Prince George County is Fort Lee’s first IGSA, the garrison is exploring a number of other potential and mutually beneficial partnerships with local municipalities.


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Culinary event begins March 9; community spectators welcome T. Anthony Bell

Senior Writer/Special Projects

Spectators will see elaborately prepared dishes that could grace the pages of any nationally distributed food magazine during Fort Lee’s 2019 edition of the Joint Culinary Training Exercise March 9-14 at MacLaughlin Fitness Center. What they’ll also witness is the passion of preparation and the emotion of military chefs vying for top category and team championship titles. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Christopher D. Reaves, a Joint Culinary Center of Excellence instructor, said a strong sense of competitiveness is pervasive among JCTE contestants, and that translates to shear artistry on every plate. “The participants bring the same level of intensity every year, whether it’s their first event or the continuation of many JCTE appearances,” he said. “Most teams put months of practice into this before they come, then they’re here actually presenting plates and being judged in this professional atmosphere … it’s all part of the training experience.” Members of the community and general public who want to witness this 44th installment of the military culinary arts showcase can drop by the event site anytime between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on any of the competition days. Those unfamiliar with Fort Lee will be looking for building 4320, near C Avenue and 19th Street. The JCTE will culminate with an awards ceremony set for March 15, 10:30 a.m., in the Lee Theater. Attendance of that event is typically restricted to competing teams, installation leaders and military organizations that supported the event. JCTE got its start as a strictly cold foods competition in the 1970s. It evolved into an

event that now features static food displays, live cooking demonstrations, visits by celebrity Food Network chefs, entertainment and much more. This year, the marquee events – Culinary Team, Armed Forces, Student and Master Chefs of the year – will be joined by a new category, Pastry Chef of the Year. Reaves said it’s another opportunity for participants to improve their skills and strengthen the preparatory training that occurs prior to the competition. “When (the teams) get here, it’s all execution, further development in the cooking labs and going through the (competitive) process,” he said. “It’s very tiring but also very rewarding.” Among the most popular of the JCTE’s fare is the Military Hot Food Challenge. It is a competitive event in which teams produce meals for members of the public in a restaurant-style environment. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. each day of the event. Getting them as soon as they’re available is a good idea because seating is limited. In addition to the head-to-head competitive events, participants will vie for spots on the Army Culinary Arts Team. Those individuals will represent the Department of Defense in such events as the Culinary Olympics in Germany. More than 200 military culinarians from all five services as well as a few foreign countries are expected to participate in this year’s JCTE. The Quartermaster School is the proponent for the event, and the American Culinary Federation is the sanctioning body. ACF chefs serve as judges and oversee credentialing opportunities open to participants during the competition. For updates and more tidbits about the competition, visit www.facebook.com/army. culinary or call 804-734-3106.

Clinic Commander’s Call Set for Feb. 14 Kenner Army Health Clinic, Mosier Consolidated Troop Medical Clinic, Troop Medical Clinic 1 and all ancillary services except the pharmacy will close Feb. 14, 11:30 a.m., to allow staff to participate in a commander’s call and training. The pharmacy will operate with limited staffing. For assistance with medical issues during closures or after-hours, call the nurse advice line at 1-800-TRICARE and chose option 1. For an emergency, go to the nearest emergency room or call 9-1-1.

Homebuyers Workshop Scheduled for Feb. 21 The Fort Lee Housing Services Office will partner with the Virginia Housing Development Authority to hold a free Homebuyers Workshop Feb. 21, 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., in room 205 of the Soldier Support Center, building 3400, 1401 B Ave. Participants will learn about personal finance, credit issues, qualifying and applying for a loan and much more. The workshop is open to active duty military and spouses, reservists, national guardsmen, veterans, DOD Civilians and their spouses. For registration and details, visit www.vhda.com or call 804-765-3862 or 765-7621.

Kenner Announces Holiday Weekend Hours Kenner Army Health Clinic and Mosier Consolidated Troop Medical Clinic 2 will be open with normal business hours Feb. 15 for the President’s Day weekend training holiday. Troop Medical Clinic 1 will be closed that day. Trainees needing medical care will be seen at TMC 2. All clinics and ancillary services will be closed in observance of President’s Day on Feb. 18. Normal operating hours and services will resume Feb. 19. For assistance with medical issues during closures or after-hours, call the nurse advice line at 1-800-TRICARE and chose option 1. Active duty family members and retirees no longer require pre-authorization to visit an urgent care center. Active duty service members must request an authorization through the nurse advice line. For an emergency, dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

SFL-RSO Hosts Seminar for Soon-to-Retire Troops A pre-retirement seminar for military members who are within 12-24 months of separation from service will be held Feb. 22, 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m., in the Soldier Support Center auditorium, building 3400, 1401 B Ave. The free program will cover a variety of post-military-career topics including veteran benefits, entitlements, health care and more. Spouses of separating military members are welcome. For details, call 804-734-6555 or 734-6973.

AABHM Observance Set for Feb. 22 Dr. Gina Paige, co-founder and president of African Ancestry, Inc., will be the guest speaker for the installation’s annual African-American/Black History Month Observance set for Feb. 22, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., in the Lee Theater. Admission is free and all community members are invited. Paige’s organization pioneered a new way of tracing African lineages using genetics. The observance theme is “Black Migrations” and will include musical performances from the 392nd Army Band and the Virginia State University Gospel Chorale, entertainment from Ordnance Soldiers, informational displays and more. For details, contact Capt. Jelesa Anthony-Hall, Battalion S3/S2, 832nd Ord. Battalion., at 804-734-8780.

Hunt Heroes Scholarships Available Nine scholarships ranging from $1,000 - $5,000 are being offered to active duty military members or one of their dependents by the Hunt Heroes Foundation. The application deadline is Feb. 21. Applicants must plan to continue their education at a college, university or vocational school. To apply, visit www.scholarsapply.org/huntheroesscholarship. Assistance is available through email at huntheroesscholarship@scholarshipamerica.org.


Lee gate guard recognized for quick life-saving action www.fortleetraveller.com

Amy Perry

Production/News Assistant Editor

On an evening in January, the Torrez family was returning from a shopping trip in Colonial Heights, and as they pulled into Jackson Circle, they realized that two-year-old Bella was vomiting. “I turned around and noticed her eyes rolling in the back of her head, her shaking, and puke running out of her mouth,” said Eva Torrez, mother and wife of Staff Sgt. Joshua Torrez, Ordnance School. “My husband immediately stopped the car to get her out and Contributed Photo I yelled at the gate guard to call 911 and Col. Hollie Martin, Fort Lee garrison commander, presents Officer Jorge Brathwaite, Fort Lee Security Guard, with a civilian award for help.” It was during a shift change, and one for his quick actions during an event at the Jackson Circle Gate in January. of those gate guards was Officer Jorge

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Brathwaite, who jumped into action. “I immediately called in on the radio and called for the emergency medical services and fire department,” he said. “The father was trying to help her from choking and I took over for him and kept doing the Heimlich maneuver on her. I tried to keep her warm. An EMS showed up and he took over for me.” The family ended up bringing her child to Chippenham Emergency Room where the family found out she had a seizure, although they didn’t discover the reason. Brathwaite – an Army veteran – received a civilian award for service from Col. Hollie Martin, garrison commander, but he was quick to point to the other

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responders on the scene and attributed his response to the training conducted by the EMS on Fort Lee and his Army training. “I don’t think I deserved the award,” he said, choking up. “I want to give credit to the fire department for reinforcing the first aid training.” It was the first time Torrez dealt with the post responders, and she said it was a great experience. “Everyone on shift that night rocked,” she said. “We definitely appreciate all their quick reaction and service. The responders were quick to arrive and all were very friendly. They even gave Bella a teddy bear and blanket.”

Travellers topple AnacostiaBowling in home-opener

Contributed Photo

‘Cool’ Ordnance School training

Pvt. Katalina Rodriguez operates a simulator that enables the practice of charging refrigeration systems and evacuating refrigerants and other non-condensable elements from climate control units during her training at the Ordnance School’s 91C Utilities Equipment Repairer Course recently. The Charlie Company, 832d Ordnance Battalion, Soldier is a member of the Colorado Army National Guard. She enlisted to “set a good foundation” for her future. “I wanted to accept more responsibility and become more resilient,” Rodriguez said. “The Army has taught me to never take anything for granted. It has taught me self-respect, boosted my self-confidence and truly made me understand that when we wear this uniform, we represent the people of this nation.” Appreciative of the opportunity to receive training for the 91-Charlie job series, the Soldier said it should guarantee her chances of getting a similar civilian job that’s financially secure. “My advice for new Soldiers coming to advanced individual training is to always keep your head up,” she said. “Never lose hope, even when things start to become challenging and seem impossible. Stay resilient and keep your motivation. And study a lot!”

Contributed Photo

The 2019 edition of the Fort Lee Travellers men’s basketball team, seen here with Coach Marvin Michael, hosted Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling Feb. 2 at Clark Fitness Center for its home opener in the Washington Area Military Athletic Conference. Team Lee won the contest 82-80 to improve its record to 2-1. Spc. Logan Rutter led the Travellers with 15 points. Sgt. Kenny Blackwell and Capt. Courtney Wicks added 12 each. The next home game is scheduled for Feb. 10 when the Travellers go up against Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. All home games start at 1 p.m. in the Clark Fitness Center gymnasium. Admission is free and open to the public.


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Americas Military | Spotlight

Spc. Eldemetria Hunter Unit: Army Logistics University MOS: 42A – human resource specialist Age: 21 Time in service: four years Marital status: single Hometown: Quitman, Ga. Location of last military assignment: Vicenza, Italy Describe yourself: “I’m outgoing, strategic and I love to laugh. I’m also hardheaded – I like to do things on my own and make my own mistakes.” Pastimes: “Most of the time I’m in the barracks catching up with family (over the phone). I do like sightseeing and hiking, but I haven’t had a chance to go out yet.” Your worst fear: “That would be losing my mom or a close family member.” Favorite book: “‘Becoming’ by Michelle Obama. I’m just getting started, but I encourage all women to read it, especially younger women. She’s the perfect role model and

gives great advice on how to become successful without using your sexuality.” The one person you admire: “That would be my mom. Growing up, I’ve watched her make a lot of sacrifices. I don’t think I’ve ever come across someone so humble and who gives all her praises to God. I’ve never seen her react angrily toward anyone; she has such a great spirit. I love that about her.” The celebrity or historical figure you would meet: “Oprah (Winfrey, the businesswoman and entertainer). I feel like there’s a lot I could learn from her, just knowing about her struggles as an African-American.” If you could do anything, anywhere right now, what and where would it be? “It would be something as simple as finding my (paternal) grandmother’s grave and sitting down with her to talk. I never met her, and I don’t know my dad’s side of the family. All I know is his dad died a day before my birthday and my grandmother died a day after my birth-

T. Anthony Bell

day.” Favorite quote: “Luke 1:45 – ‘Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her’” What people would be surprised to know about you: “I love to read articles about animals. I’m a huge fan of ‘Animal Planet.’ That may be weird, but I love reading about insects, animals, etc. I’m also an over-thinker because I have this huge fear of failure; and I love talking to (and counseling) kids, especially girls.”

What you believe in: “Myself. If I don’t believe in myself, then who will?” When you have been most satisfied: “When I’m spending time with my two younger brothers.” One life-changing event: “Back in high school, I took this picture with a group of guys I was close to. I was the only female in the group. There were seven guys in the picture. Three of those guys died in a car accident together, and last December, they found another one dead in the river. The four surrounded me in the picture, and they all died in the order of where they were posed. It’s scary, and something I try not to think about.” If you won the lottery … “I would open up recreational facilities for the young people in my hometown. I also would do something very nice for my mom.” Why you joined the Army: “I joined to do something different. I say that because, back in high school, everyone expected me to be that college girl that was going to make it. But I didn’t want to be the typical college girl, and I was athletic so I felt I could make it the SEE SPC Hunter, page 13


Bone marrow drive set for Feb. 23 at Lee Theater

Amy Perry

Production/News Assistant Editor

A bone marrow drive is set for Feb. 23, 9 a.m. - noon, at the Lee Theater. The drive, held in coordination with the Nu Omicron Lambda Fort Lee chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Inc. and the C.W. Bill Young/Department of Defense Marrow Donor Program, will start with a program featuring Mel D. Mann as the guest speaker. Mann is a 24-year leukemia survivor and has aided in thousands of people joining the national bone marrow registry. When Mann was diagnosed in 1995, he was given three years to live. Mann learned he was sick while on active duty in the Army. He will share his story with the Lee community. How does the procedure work? Interested registrants will be given a buccal (cheek) swab packet and asked to fill out a donor information and health screen. This

screen includes such information as full name, date of birth, social security number, e-mail address, personal contacts, health record and ethnicity. After completion of the screen, it will be reviewed by a donor drive POC for completeness, legibility, and health responses. Once the registrants screen is reviewed, they will be instructed through the process of buccal (cheek) swab collection. After the registrant provides their buccal swabs, they will be given a donor card. This card signifies that they have registered as a potential marrow donor. The card also provides the Donor Center contact information for reporting change-of-address or to obtain additional information in the future. How long will it take? Approximately 10 minutes. Visit https://www.salutetolife.org/ for more details about the process.

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Contributed Photo

Seven Soldiers honored for their dedicated service

Seven Soldiers celebrated their military careers during the bi-monthly installation retirement ceremony Jan. 31 in Wylie Hall. The ceremony was hosted by the Fort Lee garrison. The retirees are Maj. Wendi L. McBride-Rentschler, Virginia Tech Army ROTC; Capt. Francis J. Rettzo, Army Logistics University Support Battalion; Chief Warrant Officer 3 Christopher M. Wood, ALU Support Bn.; Sgt. 1st Class Sylbert D. Jackson-Smith, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, CASCOM; SFC William J. Canniff, Army Recruiting Battalion, Richmond; SFC Christopher D. Starke, HQ, Army Recruiting Command, Fort Knox, Ky.; and SFC Shani T. Dorsey, HQ, 183rd Regimental Training Institute, Fort Pickett.


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Photos by Staff Sgt. Scott J. Evans, 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office

(ABOVE) Sgt. 1st Class David Allen, center right, a culinary team captain assigned to 3rd Squadron, 61st

Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division presents his team of culinary specialists during a lunchtime training event at the Culinary Academy at Fort Carson, Colo., Jan. 24. The team provided a three-course meal for their guests in preparation for the upcoming Joint Culinary Training Exercise taking place in March at Fort Lee. (RIGHT) Sgt. Bruce Serafica, a food service specialist assigned to 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, prepares ratatouille during a lunch training event on Jan. 25 at the Culinary Academy, Fort Carson, Colo. Serafica is part of the installation’s culinary team that will compete at Fort Lee in March.

Carson culinary experts prepare for multi-national exercise at Fort Lee

Staff Sgt. Scott Evans

4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office

FORT CARSON, Colo. – For the last two months, a team of 4th Infantry Division food service specialists have been engaged in training to prepare for the 2019 Joint Culinary Training Exercise taking place March 9-14 at Fort Lee. Among the latest tests of the team’s skills was a Jan. 24 challenge to prepare a threecourse meal for several guests at the Fort Carson Culinary Academy. The chefs will face a similar challenge when they cook for judges and as many as 50 guest diners during JCTE’s field kitchen heat next month. “The JCTE was started by the Army on

Fort Lee, and it has grown into the largest cooking competition in the United States,” said Sgt. 1st Class David M. Allen, the culinary team manager and platoon sergeant for 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team. “We’ll be competing against culinary teams from the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and other countries as well.” The experience is “highly rewarding” every year for those involved, noted Allen, as the participants get to network with and meet experienced chefs and learn new cooking techniques. “It’s important to bring up our junior chefs and show them this career field is more than just the operations at an installation dining

facility,” Allen observed. Preparatory work by the Fort Carson team members has included a lot of practice drills and reference material studies during normal duty hours, evenings and weekends. It includes written tests as well as homework to better ensure success when the team eventually competes. It has especially been a learning experience for junior Soldiers. “We have one young guy, for example, who didn’t have much experience with international flavors, so we did a class on that subject with roasted chicken, ranging from Korean, Thai, Indian and traditional American recipes,” Allen said. Those on the team who have competed before have shared valuable tidbits from their

experiences as well. “A big thing we learned at last year’s competition was communication,” recalled Sgt. Bruce Serafica from 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team. “If you don’t communicate with one of your teammates during a field feeding competition,” he continued, “it’s going to be chaos within the small area and the product will not be of the quality that you’re trying to provide.” Some members of the student team have won accolades in the past for their culinary prowess. Pfc. Joseph A. Qualantone, a culinary specialist from 2nd Battalion, 77th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, for example, won III Corps Chef of the Year in October. “That was a weeklong cooking competition. It included basic soldiering tasks such as a PT test, a range and a board,” Qualantone said. “I met a culinary team out there who was already training for the competition at Fort

SEE 2019 JCTE, page 15


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KeNNer cONNectiON | iNFogRAphiC

Silent Killer, high blood pressure Having high blood pressure puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke, which are leading causes of death in the United States. February is Heart Health Month and Kenner Army Health Clinic wants to help get beneficiaries get their blood pressure back under control. High blood pressure usually has no warning signs or symptoms, so many people don’t realize they have it. There’s only one way to know whether you have high blood pressure: Have a doctor or other health professional measure it. Measuring your blood pressure is quick and painless. Having certain medical conditions can increase your chances of developing high blood pressure. These conditions include:

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Prehypertension Diabetes

Unhealthy behaviors can also increase your risk for high blood pressure, especially for people who have one of the medical conditions listed above. Unhealthy behaviors include:

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Only half of the people with high blood pressure have their condition under control.

One in three American adults has high blood pressure—that’s an estimated 67 million people. Anyone, including children, can develop it. Several factors that are beyond your control can increase your risk for high blood pressure. These include your age, sex, and race or ethnicity. But you can work to reduce your risk by eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, and being physically active.

Smoking tobacco Eating foods high in sodium and low in potassium

Being obese Drinking too much alcohol

What Blood Pressure Numbers Mean

Normal

systolic: less than 120 mmHg diastolic: less than 80mmHg

At risk (prehypertension)

systolic: 120–139 mmHg diastolic: 80–89 mmHg

High

systolic: 140 mmHg or higher diastolic: 90 mmHg or higher

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What can I do about my blood pressure? • Making healthy lifestyle changes is the first step. • Don’t smoke and avoid secondhand smoke. • Reach and maintain a healthy weight. Eat a healthy diet that is low in saturated and trans fats and rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. • Aim to consume less than 1,500 mg/day of sodium (salt). Even reducing you daily intake by 1000 mg can help. • Eat foods rich in potassium. Aim for 3,500 – 5,000 mg of dietary potassium per day. • Limit alcohol to no more than one drink a day if you’re a woman or two drinks a day if you’re a man. • Be more physically active. Aim for at least 90 to 150 minutes of aerobic and/or dynamic resistance exercise per week and/or three sessions of isometric resistance exercises per week.

Learn more about high blood pressure at the following Web sites:

Not getting enough physical activity

Blood Pressure Levels

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Blood pressure is measured using two numbers. The first number, called systolic blood pressure, represents the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart beats. The second number, called diastolic blood pressure, represents the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart rests between beats. Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg).

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/ dhdsp/index.htm. American Heart Association: http://www.americanheart.org. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: http://www.nhlbi. nih.gov. To schedule an appointment with the primary health care team, call the clinic’s appointment line at 1-866-533-5242. Information provided by CDC.gov Illustrated by Lesley Atkinson, KAHC PAO


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Trainers teach squad tactics

Contributed Photo

‘More PT drill sergeant!’

Master Sgt. Devon Mears leads physical training while Sgt. 1st Class Jonathan Capellansosa watches to ensure correct performance during a student mentorship community outreach event Feb. 1 at Prince George High School. Drill sergeants from Papa Company, 244th Quartermaster Battalion, have been introducing JROTC cadets at the school to various elements of Army training and tradition. During a subsequent visit on Feb. 14, Drill Sergeant (Sgt. 1st Class) Nate Smith and Drill Sergeant (Staff Sgt.) Alex Ortega walked the students through practice drills for Army Service Uniform inspections and a Soldier board. This is a stellar example of the many ongoing Adopt-a-School Program initiatives undertaken by Combined Arms Support Command training companies across post.

Contributed Photo

Staff Sgt. Jacob Benson, a drill sergeant assigned to Charlie Company, 832nd Ordnance Battalion, keeps a close instructional eye on Soldiers performing movement-to-contact squad maneuver techniques during the Ord. Situational Training Exercise here Feb. 5. The ODX validates Soldier knowledge and ability to perform the warrior tasks and battle drills that will make them capable war-fighters. Components of squad-movement drills include react to indirect and direct fire, movement to contact, react to an ambush, employ individual weapons, treat casualties and radio medical evacuation requests. Every aspiring professional Ordnance Soldier takes part in an ODX as a requirement for graduation. The Quartermaster and Transportation Schools have identical requirements.


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Senior Army leaders discuss avenues to ease family concerns

Sean Kimmons Army News Service

ARLINGTON, Va. – During a Feb. 12 AUSA forum, senior Army leaders highlighted actions being undertaken to address concerns brought up by family members four months ago during a town hall. Policy changes to improve childcare, spouse employment, military housing and the transportation of household goods are all in the works, they said. With more than half of Soldiers married and over 40 percent with children, Vice Chief of Staff Gen. James C. McConville called the Army a “family business” that should be treated as such. “If we want them to stay and serve, we have to take care of them,” he emphasized during the back-and-forth discussion hosted by the Association of the U.S. Army. “We enlist Soldiers, but we retain families.” The lack of adequate childcare at installations, particularly overseas, has been a major issue Army Secretary Mark T. Esper and his wife have frequently heard during their travels to installations. In response, Esper said there are policy changes in the works. One of them includes the ability to hire staff at child development centers on Army installations even quicker. “In many cases, the reason why our child development centers are not at full capacity is (that) we have an insufficient number of providers,” he said, indicating there’s an analysis

of the recruiting and hiring practices underway. Spouse employment can be closely related, he said, adding he supports the idea of having more on-post military housing residents run childcare businesses from home as a way to help solve both issues. When he came onboard last year, Esper said it took the Army an average of 134 days for a civilian to be hired. “You can see the challenge,” he observed. “No one is going to wait 134 days, or by the time (one does), another opportunity has likely come before (that person) or it’s time to (move) again.” The Army has lowered the waiting period Staff Sgt. Nicole Mejia by 10 percent, Esper noted. His goal is to de- Vice Chief of Staff Gen. James C. McConville, Secretary of the Army Mark T. Esper and Sgt. Maj. crease it to 60 days or less. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey participate in a Feb. 5 family readiness forum held at Arlington. The Just before the forum, Esper said he was event was hosted by the Association of the U.S. Army. told the Army would soon receive new direct hiring authority from the Defense Department, which would allow people in certain specialties to be hired in a matter of weeks. A new policy for the Priority Placement Program is slated to come out soon as well, giving the Army another tool to quickly hire applicants. The Army, he noted, is also moving toward standardized job descriptions and eliminating duplicative boards that take up weeks of time in the hiring process. Spouses also will be able to recoup the costs of transferring professional licenses when they SEE FAMILY FORUM, page 13


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Wellbeats Spin Class | Ongoing

The garrison commander hosts a Wellbeats Spin Class Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:30 p.m., at the Strength Performance Center, building 6008, 16th Street. All authorized patrons are welcome to attend the free highenergy sessions. The next two dates are Feb. 19 and 21. Wellbeats is not a traditional cycling class. It is an on-demand fitness provider that delivers motivating instruction, workout plans and fitness assessments to users any time. Over 200 virtual classes are available for every age, interest and fitness level. For further details, call 804-734-5979.

L ocal A ctivities

for the

FMWR Right Arm Night | Feb. 20

F ort L ee C ommunity

The next Family and MWR Right Arm Night is set for Feb. 20, 5 p.m., in the Overtime Sports Bar, downstairs level of the Lee Club. The social event is a chance for bosses to bring their “right arm” out to relax and build camaraderie off duty. Drink specials, free snacks and pool will be available. The event is held the 3rd Wednesday of every month. For details, call 804-734-7547.

spouses, annuitants and guests. For further details, call 804-861-8251.

White Gloves, Combat Boots Class | Feb. 21

Military personnel, family members and civilian employees are invited to the ACS Army Family Team Building White Gloves and Combat Boots Class Feb. 21, 5-8 p.m., at ACS, 1231 Mahone Ave. Enrollment is free. AFTB will provide practical and experiential learning activities on customs, courtesies and protocols that take place at military social ‘Steel Magnolias’ at Lee Lee Playhouse Auditions | Feb. functions and events. There will be special emphasis on holiday ball attire and receiving Theater | Feb. 15-17 18-19 “Steel Magnolias,” the third installment of The Theater Company at Fort Lee will hold lines. Registration is required by Feb. 19. For additional information, call 804-734the Lee Playhouse Theater Group platinum auditions for “Anything Goes” Feb. 18-19, 7 7979. season, closes its production run Feb. 15-18 at p.m., at the Lee Theater, Mahone Ave. the Lee Theater, Mahone Avenue. Director Frank Foster is seeking women World War I History Talk | Performances are set for Feb. 15 and 16 at 8 and men for a variety of principal, secondary p.m., and Feb. 17 at 3 p.m. All shows are open and ensemble roles. Those auditioning should Feb. 22 A program focusing on the life of American to the public. The dramatic comedy focuses on prepare a song (accompanist provided), bring troops in World War I is scheduled for Feb. 22, the friendship of six southern women through sheet music and be prepared for movement in10 a.m. - noon, at the Chesterfield Museum, the best of times and worst of times. Tickets cluding Jazz and tap dancing. Readings will be 6813 Mimms Loop. are $15 for adults and $7 for youths. from the script. No performers are paid. ReParticipants will learn about trench warfare, For ticket information, call 804-734-6629. hearsals will begin immediately after casting equipment, food and more. Registration is refor a production run of May 17 - June 2. quired. For details, call 804-751-4946. Exchange Family Game Event | For more details, call 804-734-6629 or Feb. 16 Library MakerSpace Activity | email info@leeplayhouse.com. The Army and Air Force Exchange Service Feb. 22 is partnering with Hasbro to host a game day Prince George Job Fair for The Fort Lee Community Library has event for children and their families Feb. 16, Teachers | Feb. 19 scheduled its next MakerSpace program for 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., in the Toy Department at the Prince George County Public Schools will Feb. 22, 5 p.m., in Bunker Hall Cafe, Army Fort Lee main store. host a job fair for individuals seeking em- Logistics University campus. Those interested The activity, suited for individuals 4 years ployment as substitute teachers and substitute should arrive as close to the starting time as of age and older, will offer three games – Mo- paraprofessionals Feb. 19, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., at possible in order to complete the project benopoly Cash Grab, Peeing Pup and Blowfish the PGCS Board Office, 6410 Courts Drive. fore the event is over. Blowup. Applicants should bring a valid ID and SoMakerSpace is free and open to all ages. For further details, call 804-861-5970. cial Security Card. Participants can use tools, techniques and For details, call 804-733-2700. hands-on learning with the goal of inspiring Patrick Henry Reenactment | and nurturing their interest in science, technolRetired Federal Employees Feb. 17 ogy, engineering, art and math. A reenactment of Patrick Henry’s “Give Meeting | Feb. 20 For details, call 804-765-8095. Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech will Petersburg Chapter 28, National Active be held Feb. 17, 1-2:30 p.m., at St. John’s and Retired Federal Employees, will hold its Cardinal Chili Open Scramble | Church, 2401 E. Broad St., Richmond. monthly meeting Feb. 20, 10:30 a.m., at the Feb. 23 While the event is free, tickets are required Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer, 1769 S. The annual Family and MWR Cardinal due to limited seating. Additional information Sycamore St., Petersburg. Golf Club Chili Open Scramble tournament is is available at www.historicstjohnschurch.org Retirees and active employees from all fed- set for Feb. 23, 10 a.m. The two-person team or by phone, 804-648-5015. eral agencies are invited to attend, as well as competition will have a shotgun start.

The entry fee is $30 for members and $45 for all others. The cost includes golf, a cart, chili for lunch and more. The registration fee must be paid by Feb. 21. It is open to all players. For details, call 804-734-2899.

Vet Clinic Wellness Day | Feb. 23

The Fort Lee Veterinary Treatment Facility will host a walk-in Wellness Day Feb. 23, 8 a.m. - noon, in building 11025, 38th Street. Services will include wellness exams, vaccines, microchips, heartworm tests and fecal tests. Those not registered in the system will need to bring vaccination records and other pertinent medical files. In addition, the clinic will hold a free pet weight management seminar 1-3 p.m. This event is for active duty military members, retirees and spouses. For more information, call 804-734-2446.

‘A Sharecropper’s Life’ | Feb. 23

James McKnight Jr. and Sahara Bowser will share the story of Willie Holliday Sr. in a program entitled “My Story of a Sharecropper’s Life” Feb. 23 1-2:30 p.m., at the Chester Library, 11800 Centre St. Registration is required. For details, call 804-751-CCPL or visit library.chesterfield.gov.

VWM Civil War Presentation | Feb. 26

The role African-American troops played in the Union Army during the Civil War will be discussed in a free program Feb. 26, 6:30 p.m. at the Virginia War Memorial, 621 South Belvidere St., Richmond. The event is open to the public. For details, call 804-786-2060 or visit www. vawarmemorial.org/upcoming-events or www. dvs.virginia.gov.

AFTB Leadership Training | Feb. 27-28

A two-day Army Family Team Building Leadership Development and Mentoring class – titled “To Lead or Not to Lead” – is set for Feb. 27-28, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., at the Army Logistics University, 34th Street. The course is free. The workshop will examine leadership styles and qualities. Registration is required by Feb. 26. AFTB offers other ongoing classes throughout the year. For further details, call 804-734-7979.

For more installation and outside the gate events and activities, visit our online calendar at www.fortleetraveller.com/calendar


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FAMILY FORUM, continued from page 11

move to another installation, he said, as part of a new policy being developed. Transition assistance centers currently have a lot of resources available to spouses and can help them find work, also. “They never turn a family member away,” said Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey. Many home businesses run by spouses could also get the green light with a directive that was recently clarified stating they do not compete with commercial businesses on post. Commanders have been instructed to develop a clear, easy-to-follow application process for those interested in having a home business, according to Esper. “We’ll be sending out more directives to the Army, but again, we want to make sure that spouses have the ability to set up home businesses and help provide for their family if that’s the reason why they’re doing it,” he said. The leaders also discussed ways to reduce moves and stabilize families at one installation, which could help spouses who already have great jobs they do not want to leave. “We are taking a hard look at that right now,” McConville said. “One size does not fit all.” The Army’s upcoming talent management system, for instance, could allow Soldiers to pick where they want to serve for an extended period of time. “As long as you’re in a position where you’re contributing and you want to stay there, we’ll let you stay,” the general assured. “I think that can ground families in a much better place so they can become part of the community and get the jobs they need.” For Soldiers moving this summer, U.S.

Transportation Command is slated to publish a rating system showing the customer satisfaction scores of household goods carriers. Additionally, the command plans to open up a 24-hour hotline so Soldiers and their families can track shipments and remediate any issues. The Army also plans to double the number of quality assurance inspectors to oversee up to 50 percent of all shipments. “If they want a quality assurance inspector, we’ll get one out to the families,” Dailey said. Ongoing inspections of about 40,000 pre1978 homes will identify issues with lead paint, mold, asbestos and other toxic risks. Esper said he visited Fort Benning, Ga., a few months ago to see the remediation efforts taking place on some of the older homes. By 2026, he elaborated, the Army has plans to eliminate the lowest levels of military housing, known as Q3 and Q4. “We are certainly committed to providing safe housing for our families,” he said. McConville also reminded Soldiers and families to always fill out surveys on the contractors in charge of their military housing. “They’re being paid to provide quality housing for our Soldiers, and if they’re not doing that, we need to know,” he said. Feedback on any other issue can be given directly to senior leaders, Dailey pointed out, adding a Soldier’s chain of command is always a good first step to fix a problem. While on his visits to installations, he said he often has “fireside chats” to give Soldiers the opportunity to share their concerns. “It’s important for us to do that because we have to be the barometer and the gauge for the force,” Dailey said. “We’re not always perfect, but what I ask is that we continue that feedback.”

SPC HUNTER, continued from page 6

military. I also knew I could go to college for free. I said, ‘I could knock out college while doing the military thing,’ and I’m doing that currently.” Did the Army fulfill your initial expectations? “It did. I thought it would be worse than this. I thought I was going to be getting hit, but the drill sergeants act just like my mom. The Army is more of a mental challenge, and it’s definitely something I enjoy doing.” Why like about your MOS: “I get to help people. I am a people person, I love to talk and in this job, everyone has to come to you for one reason or another. I love the interaction.” What you do not like about your duties: “Sometimes you feel like you can’t catch a break. People can be very demanding.”

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What it means to wear the uniform: “There is a feeling accomplishment and pride, especially when people come up to you and say, ‘Thank you.’ That honestly makes you feel good about what you’re doing.” Best thing about the Army: “I would say it is the challenge.” Worst thing about the Army: “For me, that would be getting comfortable with people you’ve fought and lived your best moments with, only to have to leave them for another assignment.” Future plans: “I’m still in that bubble in which I don’t know if I want to make the Army a career. I would like a degree in childhood education and become an elementary school teacher. I also love the Army, but I can’t see myself doing any more than eight years. I’m torn.” -Compiled by T. Anthony Bell


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2019 JCTE,

cont. from page 8

Lee, so we’ve been working hard to match up our preparation time with them.” Both the senior culinary NCOs and their students confirmed they’re enthusiastically looking forward to the educational benefits that come with being involved in the competition. “You always want to start out with baby steps, just getting everyone familiar with their part,” said Staff Sgt. Melvin L. Jennings from F Company, 2nd Battalion, 12th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team. He is serving as Fort Carson’s

captain in charge of logistics. “Once you get everyone proficient with their role, the main thing is to bring that puzzle together and it will gel from there.” For many of the NCOs, it will be a chance to meet up with contestants and other personnel they have trained with before. “The experience is awesome because you get to meet a lot of the good chefs with 30-40 years of experience, and you learn a lot from them,” Serafica said. Once the competition is over, the team is looking forward to taking what they have learned and utilizing it when they return to

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Fort Carson. “Our main goal is to take all this training and bring what we learned back to the dining facilities, and give the Soldiers the best food we can give them,” Allen said. The culinary team also was pleased with the large turnout for its recent three-course meal drill. “The troops love it when they see their command come out to give them support,” Allen confirmed. “Cooks can feel very underappreciated, so in doing this kind of training with this kind of atmosphere, it’s a great thing that they get to know people do care.”

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Profile for The Progress-Index

Fort Lee Traveller | Feb. 14, 2019  

Fort Lee Traveller | Feb. 14, 2019